This report, published by Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCIP), is based on testimonies collected from 429 children detained by the Israeli military or police in the occupied West Bank between January 2012 and December 2015. Three-quarters of these children endured some form of physical violence following their arrest. More than 41 percent were arrested from their homes in the middle of the night. And 97 percent were interrogated in the absence of a parent or legal counsel.
Amid heightened violence in the fall of 2015, the number of Palestinian children in Israeli prisons skyrocketed. By the end of December, 422 Palestinian children were in the Israeli prison system. By the end of February that number rose to 440. This is the highest number of child detainees since data became available in January 2008.
Interrogators used position abuse, threats, and isolation to coerce confessions from some of these children. DCIP documented 66 children held in solitary confinement, for an average period of 13 days, during the reporting period. In 2015, Israeli authorities held Abdel-Fatah Ouri, 17, in isolation for 45 days. This is unacceptable.
International law is clear: children should only be detained as a last resort, for the shortest appropriate period of time, and under absolutely no circumstances should they be subjected to torture or ill-treatment. And yet, year after year, we see Palestinian children experiencing widespread ill-treatment and the systematic denial of their due process rights by Israeli forces and the military law framework.